about-us

About us

A hole-in-the wall bistro inspired by the trattorias of Italy, Franco Choo’s offers home-style cooking, interesting wines and warm hospitality in an intimate ambience. We have a simple and changing menu, making the most of fresh seasonal produce and celebrating the best of Italian cuisine. Our cooking reflects authentic flavours, recalling traditional dishes with a few unique and delicious twists. Only a stroll away from Chapel Street, Prahran, the bistro offers diners an escape from the hustle and bustle to experience the feeling of being in someone’s private dining room.

Franco Choo’s homely dining space is the perfect backdrop for honest food and attentive service.

S teven Choo, Owner and Chef Steven is passionate about sharing his love of Italian food. Having lived in Australia, Malaysia and Europe, his culinary experience is broad and his dishes have been inspired by his travels through Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and England.

Steven has worked in a number of renowned restaurants including the George Street Bistro (Fremantle), the Grand Hotel Dining Room (Richmond), Alevansi (Toorak) and the Il Pagliaccio (Rome).


food-drinks

Food & Drinks

O ur simple blackboard menu at Franco Choo’s offers honest Italian food which respects ingredients and avoids fussiness, yet often yields something unexpected. The menu is written up with a small but varied selection of entrees, mains, desserts and side dishes. It changes on the whole monthly but may be updated to suit market availability. The menu on the night you dine with us may have changed from the one you see online, especially during phase in periods in between months.

There are usually two vegetarian dishes or dishes that can be made to suit on the menu and we can accommodate most dietary requirements with some notice. Because our menu is small it is best to give us a call to discuss your preferences when you are making a booking.

menu

MENU

    • Pea sformato, mushroom trifolati, porcini, macadamia 16
    • Fried scamorza, roasted cauliflower, venison salami, dried figs in Marsala 16
    • Insalata di pesce, Cone Bay barramundi, chickpeas, baby potatoes, anchovy dressing 16
    • Red wine & taleggio risotto, beef oyster blade spezzatino, radicchio, walnuts 29
    • Slow-roasted lamb shoulder, pumpkin puree, carrot 29
    • Vegetarian main available with notice
    • Crespelle, rosemary crepes, chestnuts, apple, chocolate ganache 14
    • Sbrisolona, quince, rhubarb, mascarpone 14

    Menu subject to change

    Friday & Saturday set price menu,
    Two courses $45
    Three courses $59

    Prices may vary depending on menu

drinks

Drinks

L ike our food menu, the drinks list is tight and concise, leaving you with more time to enjoy the night and less time spent on scrutinising the list. It features a hand-picked selection of hard-to-find beers and wines sourced from boutique producers. Try a Vermentino or become acquainted with Cesanese.

Having a small list is driven by practicality. We just don’t have much storage space. Even though our list is compact, we make regular changes to our wine selection. The beer range also varies depending on brewing runs and supplies available in the local marketplace. Occasionally there may be a wine vintage change, but when this occurs, we never ‘roll over’ to a new vintage without having assessed it first. Sometimes a wine may be unavailable for this reason. If your beverage of choice is not available, we’ll point you in the direction of an alternative.

Some varieties and regions may not be familiar to you. We can demystify the choices and help you discover something new to suit different tastes and occasions. Please note: We are fully-licensed and do not offer BYO.

DOWNLOAD OUR DRINKS LIST

Our list changes regularly. Sample only.

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Gallery

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press

Press

  • 14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015

    There’s a soothing simplicity to a meal at Franco Choo’s. The homey vibe translates perfectly to the plate.

    14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015
  • The Australian

    They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.

    READ MORE…

    The Australian
  • The Age

    Rustic, raucous and packed to the rafters most nights, this tiny trattoria is dishing up honest, home-style food, warm hospitality and well-paced service. It’s snug but stylish informal dining.

    READ MORE…

    The Age
  • Broadsheet

    Doing things its way and gaining a loyal following…and it’s very reasonably priced. The wine list is a treat.

    READ MORE…

    Broadsheet
  • Gourmet Traveller

    Pint-sized with more than its fair share of home-style charm.

    Gourmet Traveller
  • The Herald Sun

    It is perfect for Melbourne autumn and winter, being cosy, friendly, wooden and rustic. Entering from the nearby busy Chapel St intersection, it is immediately intimate and welcoming.

    READ MORE…

    The Herald Sun
  • The Weekly Review

    A petite, charming bistro that transports diners from Melbourne’s hustle and bustle to a slower, gentler place. The brief menu manages to be diverse and interesting and there’s a fabulous Victorian-based, Italian-themed wine list.

    READ MORE…

    The Weekly Review
  • 3AW

    Having a small menu is anything but dull, it just means you have to change it up a bit, which is what Steven Choo does at least every fortnight, continuously evolving according to the season’s top produce and the chef’s own whims.

    READ MORE…

    3AW
  • 14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015

    There’s a soothing simplicity to a meal at Franco Choo’s. The homey vibe translates perfectly to the plate.

    14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015
  • The Australian

    They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.

    READ MORE…

    The Australian
  • The Age

    Rustic, raucous and packed to the rafters most nights, this tiny trattoria is dishing up honest, home-style food, warm hospitality and well-paced service. It’s snug but stylish informal dining.

    READ MORE…

    The Age
  • Broadsheet

    Doing things its way and gaining a loyal following…and it’s very reasonably priced. The wine list is a treat.

    READ MORE…

    Broadsheet
  • Gourmet Traveller

    Pint-sized with more than its fair share of home-style charm.

    Gourmet Traveller
  • The Herald Sun

    It is perfect for Melbourne autumn and winter, being cosy, friendly, wooden and rustic. Entering from the nearby busy Chapel St intersection, it is immediately intimate and welcoming.

    READ MORE…

    The Herald Sun
  • The Weekly Review

    A petite, charming bistro that transports diners from Melbourne’s hustle and bustle to a slower, gentler place. The brief menu manages to be diverse and interesting and there’s a fabulous Victorian-based, Italian-themed wine list.

    READ MORE…

    The Weekly Review
  • 3AW

    Having a small menu is anything but dull, it just means you have to change it up a bit, which is what Steven Choo does at least every fortnight, continuously evolving according to the season’s top produce and the chef’s own whims.

    READ MORE…

    3AW
functions-groups

Functions & Groups

Share a home-style dining experience with your friends, family or colleagues at Franco Choo’s. We can cater for small groups or the restaurant can be booked out for larger functions of up to 24 people.

S mall Groups
Due to the small nature of our restaurant, we are only able to cater for groups on Tuesday-Thursday. We require that you partake in a chef’s menu with shared dishes. If you would like to book for a group, please call us directly.

P rivate Functions
We can accommodate up to 24 people for a traditional Mediterranean meal where the dishes are served banquet-style. Evocative of the Italian custom of sharing food with family and friends, feasting enhances the sense of occasion that brings a large group of people together around the table.

Our menu can be adapted for your event and our affordable options are accompanied by our unique wine list and selection of craft beer and aperitivi.

bookings

Bookings

Franco Choo’s is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6pm.

General Kitchen Hours
Tuesday-Thursday 6-9.30pm (last orders 8:30pm)
Friday-Saturday 6-10pm (last orders 9:00pm)
The kitchen may be closed earlier depending on patronage. Bookings recommended to avoid disappointment.

Reservation Policy
You can make a booking online for up to seven people Tuesday-Thursday and six people Friday and Saturday or alternatively give us a call. We do not take email bookings.

We rely on reservations being honoured by our guests, or adequate notice given of any changes. For cancellations, please give us at least six hours notice. We are a small restaurant and late cancellations can have a big impact.

For groups of seven or more people Tuesday-Thursday, please call us directly.

Please ensure that the phone number you provide is correct and easily contactable if we need to reconfirm your booking. If we are unable to reach you, we may have to reallocate your table to our waiting list until we hear back from you.

Bookings made between 6:00-6:30pm will be rebooked at 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday. You will be notified of when the table is required back during the booking process.

By making a booking, you agree with our reservation policy above.


Contact us